Giottos Series II MH1300-621 Ball Head

The Giottos MH1300-621 Series II ball head is a serious bit of kit that’s designed to take large cameras, so it’s bulky and quite heavy at 830g. For the size and weight you get a head that feels robust and has large rubberised knobs that are easy to turn, even when wearing gloves. A single control locks and releases the ball head so it can be moved, and a friction control increases or reduces resistance. A third knob at the front of the head allows a pan movement, which offers a small amount of resistance for a smooth and fluid pan. A scale at the base shows how much the head has been rotated.

Giottos Series II MH1300-621 Ball Head

Giottos Series II MH1300-621 Ball Head

The Giottos features two spirit levels, one for the horizontal and one for the vertical axis. They work perfectly well but we personally prefer the single circular type. The plate is released by pressing down a red button on one side of the head, and turning a lever on the other. The plate itself is roughly 4.5x9cm, so it’s large enough to accommodate any DSLR or medium-format camera. To ensure that the majority of cameras can be attached to the head, there are both 1/4in and 3/8in mount threads that can be easily swapped and have specific storage places on the head.

Quick-release plate

The Giottos plate is large enough to take any DSLR or medium-format camera with ease. For this there are easily swappable 1/4in and 3/8in mount threads. Mount threads feature a small handle for easy turning.


The Giottos MH1300-621 Series II ball head is solid as a rock, albeit just as heavy. If weight isn’t an issue, you really couldn’t go wrong with this head. But if you like the look of this and need something more portable, there is a similar Giottos ball head that’s smaller and cheaper too.

This review was first published in the February 2013 issue of Practical Photography - download back issues here.